Sure, I'm a crank.

But I'm also a romantic. Cynicism is the hard shell coating my hope-filled center. I'm a veritable M&M of emotions (melts in your mind, but won't budge in your hands.)

And it's because of this dichotomy that I have a hard time dealing with V-Day. My rational mind says, "Give him a bunch of dead roses and a copy of Sartre to express the futility of love," while my mushier side dreams of lavish emotional outpourings, endless hours of sex and sentiment....

I don't feel like I have to wait for a societally-approved holiday to express myself. But when V-Day rolls around, I sometimes feel a little funny ignoring it.

How I celebrate it depends on circumstance. When I was in love with a guy who wasn't the flowery type, I had a florist deliver a long, gold box to his office – it was filled with candy and toys he could share with his coworkers. He dug it.

Once I dated a sweeping romantic who, caught up in a veritable fit of passion after preparing an exquisite V-Day dinner for me, stood me up, closed my eyes, removed my rings, and slipped his grandmother's diamond ring onto my naked hand. I was trembling. This was way too much, and way too soon in the relationship for this sort of gesture. "It's only a ring," he said when I opened my eyes. "It doesn't have to mean anything." But it might as well have been a lead weight.

I gave the ring back.

By far the best V-Day experience came last year, when my relationship was but a few weeks old. Awash in the initial giddiness of lust and mystery, my lover and I snuck around each other, leaving gifts on each others' desks while the other was away. Sweet email flowed between us all day. I remember watching my shadow on the asphalt as I rode to work, a single flower sticking out of my backpack, and feeling all warm and goopy inside. It was terrible. It was wonderful. It was beyond all the Kodak moments in the world.

And it was the kind of V-Day you never forget. The kind that has nothing to do with the holiday, but everything to do with the relationship. The kind I look forward to celebrating again.

What makes you feel sweet about Valentine's Day?